Bubbles are the perfect summer activity for little kiddos and their parents to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. They are also a great way to target a variety of speech and language skills, while also having fun! Here are some ways blowing bubbles this summer can help promote a child’s speech and language development:
Usually bubble containers are difficulty for children to open themselves, but this is a great way to encourage requesting when playing with your kiddo. Parents can work on words such as “help” or “open” or “bubbles” for communication intention. Children are still requesting even if they do not verbalize a word but actually hand you the bubble container. If your child hands you the container, model the words for them to imitate and eventually your kiddo will be requesting with words!
While blowing bubbles, you can also implement requesting! After blowing a few bubbles, close the container and wait for your child to demonstrate eye contact and/or communicate words. You can begin by introducing “more bubbles”, “want bubbles” , “blow bubbles”, or “want more bubbles”.
SPEECH SOUNDS and VOCABULARY:
Bubbles are a great way to practice speech sounds, specifically early developing speech sounds such as /p/, /b/, and /m/. Parents can use the bubbles for multiple opportunities for your child to practice each sound. When blowing bubbles, use words such as “pop” everytime you touch a bubble. Other target words include “up up”, “blow”, “bubble”, “bye bye”, “more” or even counting numbers! Vocabulary can be established when blowing bubbles by naming body parts the bubbles land on, such as tummy, nose, head, hands. You can also introduce nouns, verbs, and descriptors by modeling “big bubble”, “small bubble”, “all done”, “my turn”, “your turn”, “round”, “all wet”, “some”, “a lot”, “again”, “in”, “sticky”, “down”, “right”, “left”, “out”, “in”, “on”…. This list can just go on and on!!!
To encourage additional babbling, parents can also use nonsense words such as “boop, bop, bam”. Another fun way to elicit lip closure of sounds is to try to catch the bubbles in your mouth and verbalize “mmmm in my tummy”.
CALMING DOWN (Deep Breathing):
Belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, allows for more oxygen to enter the lungs. This deep breathing technique helps calm and relax our bodies during moments of anger, stress, or anxiety. Belly breathing also helps support your voice for speaking!
When using bubbles, practice belly breathing with your child. It is best to model a “soft and long” breath rather than a “loud and short” breath by blowing on your child’s hand to teach this type of breathing. In addition, put your child’s hand on his/her belly to allow them to feel the up and down movement when blowing bubbles. Children often become excited with bubbles and these breathing exercises are very calming and fun at the same time. Deep breathing is helpful in targeting patience, reducing rate of speech, and calming strategies. Helpful Hint- Soft and long breaths help you make the biggest bubbles!!